Thames Video

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Editions by
Michael Kenchington

Video captures courtesy of
dylan fagan, Matthew and TheIridiumic138


Thames Video was the home video imprint of Thames Television, the weekday franchise holder for ITV in London. The division was founded in 1978, and later merged with newly-founded distributor The Video Collection in 1985, reducing the Thames name under a label titled Thames Video Collection, which later reverted back to Thames Video in 1991, which VCI continued to use even after Thames lost their ITV franchise, and continued to release videos under their name until 1999, when VCI's deal with Pearson Television expired.

1st Logo (1978-1982)


Logo: Just a still image of the 1969-1989 Thames Television logo, while the cursive white text "Video" fades in below. There are lines that extend to each side of the screen connected to the word.

Technique: The text fading in.

Music/Sounds: Silence, but the show's theme could play before the logo fades out.

Availability: Extremely rare.

  • This was used as a placeholder before the 2nd logo was created.
  • Found on a Betamax of The Best of The Benny Hill Show Vol. 1.

2nd Logo (1982-1992)

Logo: Against a dark blue background, we see a "V", curvy, with two white stripes and a thinner black stripe, turning in sync with the curve, looking like a road. It then pans out, forming a V with lines on the sides, and then an all-white view of London (with Big Ben, the Telecom Tower, St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge) pops up into view on top of the V. Then, an outline of the London skyline on the V zooms out, which then morphs into "THAMES video" on the view of London. The view of London then "shines" on top. Afterwards, the background darkens a little.


  • On all tapes which were released after Thames Video merged with The Video Collection in 1985, the word "Collection" is written in the Brush Script font below the view of London, along with an extra 5-pointed star-shaped flash behind it when the logo glows. The background also darkens a lot more as the background changes from dark blue to black.
  • A still version of this logo is seen at the end of certain tapes (other tapes show the closing seconds of the logo instead).
  • On the 1988 UK VHS release of Children's Favourites: Volume 2, this logo fades into the title card.
  • This logo could also be seen as a precursor to Thames' "21st Anniversary" ident, which was used from July to September 1989, and survived into the initial version of their "ITV Generic" ident (introduced later that year).

Technique: Everything happening in this logo, including the later addition of "Collection" writing itself in after the VCI merger in 1985. Pretty cool for 2D effects.

Music/Sounds: An extended synthesized version of the 1968 Thames fanfare.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The non-static end variant includes a synthesized chord.
  • Sometimes, when the static variant plasters over the Thames Television logo, the closing theme of the show will be heard, or in the case of Count Duckula VHS releases, the downpour of rain is heard over it.

Availability: Rare.

  • Seen on UK VHS releases featuring programmes produced by Thames Television (including The Benny Hill Show, The Sooty Show, Rainbow, Danger Mouse, Button Moon, The Wind in the Willows, Alias the Jester, Creepy Crawlies, and Count Duckula to name a few).
  • You may also find this logo paired with that of Lollipop Video on certain tapes of the sixth and ninth shows, given that they were aimed primarily at children.
  • The final UK VHS release to use this is Benny Hill's One Night Video Stand.
  • Like its successor (which was the fourth logo), the still variant was used to plaster over the usual Thames Television endboard.

3rd Logo (US only) (1988-1992)

Thames Video Collection opening logo (1991).png

Logo: Against a bright red background, two silver beams of light point upwards. The beams then lower to the center of the screen, one pointing each way. The lights seem to dispel, the background turning a deep blue, and form the words "THAMES VIDEO COLLECTION", with "THAMES" coming from the middle, "VIDEO" from the left, and "COLLECTION" from the right. The three words set into the middle of the screen as two silver bars appear from both sides, resting at the top and bottom of the wording, with the finishing touch being a black marble version of the famous skyline logo topping the logo.

Technique: The shining lights, the words and the skyline.

Music/Sounds: A fairly ominous-sounding six-note jingle, with the last few notes held out a bit longer.

Availability: Seen on later Thames Video releases distributed by HBO Video.

4th Logo (UK only) (1990-1999)


Logo: On a black background, we see three inverted triangles (one in red/gold, a second in blue/red, and a third in gold/blue), with a view of London (again, featuring Big Ben, the Telecom Tower, St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge) and "THAMES VIDEO" on them, flying by, then a gold version of the logo is created, then the background changes from black to navy blue.

Trivia: This logo is based on Thames Television's final ident, which was used from September 3, 1990 to December 31, 1992.


  • At the end of videos of certain shows like The Bill, Mr Bean and Rainbow, among others, a still version of this logo is seen instead of the usual Thames Television end board, with the final seconds of the show's theme being heard in place of the fanfare.
  • The videos of Truckers (which edited the thirteen episodes together to form a movie) and Victor and Hugo: Bunglers in Crime (which only contained three episodes from the first series of 1991) also featured this logo at the end, instead of Cosgrove Hall's third logo.

Technique: The three differently-colored versions of the logo flying by to reveal the gold one, and the background changing from black to navy blue.

Music/Sounds: A re-arranged version of the theme from the aforementioned 1990 Thames ident. There are a few added drumbeats in the background, and it ends on the fanfare's last note, without any echo.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • At the end of most tapes, it is silent or sometimes has the final seconds of the show's ending theme.
  • On the Rainbow episode "Cold Day" included on the 1996 UK VHS release of My Little Rainbow: Christmas Special, the Rainbow theme from the end credits plays over the full logo.

Availability: Rare. The best tapes to find with this logo are PAL-format ones from the UK.

  • Seen on VHS releases from 1990 to 1999 featuring programmes produced by Thames Television during their "twilight" years (including the last few series of The Sooty Show and Rainbow, Truckers, The Bill, Mr Bean and Victor and Hugo: Bunglers in Crime).
  • This was, however, seen in the U.S. on a 1997 VHS release of Benny Hill: Golden Laughs. It may or may not have shown up on some other American releases.
  • It also appears on the 1994 UK VHS reissues of Learn with Sooty: Be Safe, Learn with Sooty: Have Fun with Numbers, Learn with Sooty: How Things Work Simple Science, and Learn with Sooty: Start to Read, respectively.

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